Landlords and student accommodation providers must understand the modern student’s requirements if they are to fill up their properties quickly and make a full return on their investment (ROI).
To do that, they must keep up with the times. Long gone are the 1990s when university was a cheap three-year thrill ride of student parties and hangovers. Things have changed – nowadays students are a completely different breed to the ones that you may know from your own time studying, whether that was five, ten, twenty or thirty years ago.
More students than ever before are attending university and more are travelling from further afield to study. This, coupled with student habits – research methods are now almost entirely web-based – and the increasing costs of British university education, means that students expect much more from their accommodation than the basic, shared 60s-style flats erected many moons ago.
With that in mind, here is how the most successful student accommodation providers are filling their properties quicker than most. And no, it’s not a case of putting an advert in the paper and waiting for the phone to ring…
The most successful student accommodation providers are doing the following.
They are behaving like boutique property providers
Students are paying much more for further education than they used to do. Now, they can expect to be in around £30,000 of debt before they even start their careers. For that reason, students now expect only the very best.
In light of that, accommodation providers must think more like boutique hoteliers than someone trying to let a basic council flat. Think designer furniture modeled on mid-century modernist design classics such as anything by Charles Eames or the Wassily, for instance, rather than bog standard pieces built solely for durability over style.
Modern students expect more BoConcept than Ikea – visually striking, curvaceous or angular pieces with bright colours that appeal to the aspirational lifestyle that they want to experience.
They are designing communal areas
Providers must understand how design affects the psychology of those in a room, and how the communal areas they design help residents, either when they are alone or in a group, to relax or learn.
Flexible living is all the rage when it comes to student housing in 2017.
They are making sure everything is state-of-the art
In addition to being purpose-built for rest and study, communal areas must, if they are to keep students happy, be kitted out with multiple electricity ports so that residents can work remotely using their laptops or tablets.
We know, we know – many residences are full of gimmicks such as arcade machines, table football and games consoles in the hope of appearing trendy or even a little, dare we say, edgy…
But while they make for good talking points during viewings, they’re not as likely to attract tenants as widescreen televisions or modern fridges, freezers, toasters etc.
If possible, make sure each is a recognisable brand that adds to the attractiveness of the property as a whole. It’s these little things that will make a big difference as you attempt to attract new tenants before each term starts, especially when it comes to the modern breed of savvy student.
They are advertising online properly
International students that live far away from their chosen university are unable to visit their future campus or accommodation to take a look prior to signing on the dotted line.
Because of this, it’s vital that accommodation providers do their utmost to advertise online properly – from an impressive and easy-to-use website, to tools that allow for virtual fly-throughs of rooms and communal areas, to crisp and clear images that show off exactly what they can expect when they arrive.
They are making bills as easy as possible to arrange
We’re not saying that students are lazy; far from it. But helping them out as much as possible with things such as bills and by ensuring everything is as inclusive as possible, makes accommodation more attractive to them, and will make it more likely that they will choose your residence over others.
Which, at the end of the day is what this is about – filling up student accommodation as quickly as possible and positively affecting the ROI on your accommodation, whether it’s one property.
Article provided by Student Furniture.